FIRST LOOK

New Photos of Benicio Del Toro in Steven Soderbergh's Che

by
May 12, 2008

New Photos of Benicio Del Toro in Steven Soderbergh's Che

We already showed you a few photos of Demián Bichir as Fidel Castro, now it's time to show you the first official photos of Benicio Del Toro as Che Guevara. Ocean's Thirteen director Steven Soderbergh's latest project is a set of two films shot back-to-back about Che Guevara titled individually The Argentine and Guerrilla. Both are premiering at the Cannes Film Festival this month under the name Che as a 268 minute presentation. I am delighted to share with you these photos of Del Toro as Che, only because I've got a good feeling both of these films are going to be pretty badass. They're both being released in the US by Focus Features later this year as big awards contenders.

Benicio Del Toro as Che Guevara

Benicio Del Toro as Che Guevara

Benicio Del Toro as Che Guevara

The Argentine: On November 26, 1956, Fidel Castro sails to Cuba with eighty rebels. One of those rebels is Ernesto "Che" Guevara, an Argentine doctor who shares a common goal with Fidel Castro - to overthrow the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Che proves indispensable as a fighter, and quickly grasps the art of guerrilla warfare. As he throws himself into the struggle, Che is embraced by his comrades and the Cuban people. This film tracks Che’s rise in the Cuban Revolution, from doctor to commander to revolutionary hero.

Guerrilla: After the Cuban Revolution, Che is at the height of his fame and power. Then he disappears, re-emerging incognito in Bolivia, where he organizes a small group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits to start the great Latin American Revolution. The story of the Bolivian campaign is a tale of tenacity, sacrifice, idealism, and of guerrilla warfare that ultimately fails, bringing Che to his death. Through this story, we come to understand how Che remains a symbol of idealism and heroism that lives in the hearts of people around the world.

Not only was Che Guevara a badass revolutionary, but Steven Soderbergh is also an awesome filmmaker, and combining the two can only mean great things. Soderbergh always been one of my all-time favorite directors and even impressed me with Solaris and The Good German. I've been anxious to see these two movies since I first heard about the project years ago. And with each and every new photo, my anticipation grows. Hopefully both The Argentine and Guerrilla will show at the Toronto Film Festival after Cannes, where I'll actually be able to screen them. Definitely keep your eye out for these two movies this fall!

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  • Kelly B.
    This is probably gonna be amazing. Every element of the equation seems dead on to me. Che Guevara. Check. Benicio as Che. Check. Steven Soderbergh behind the camera. Check. I am really, really looking forward to both of these films. I am really curious as to how they are going to portray Che. From the synopsis above, it seems to painting him in a purely positive light, as the messianic revolutionary. I am by no means an expert on Che, but I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding his reputation. He is criticized by some for using violence and brutality as a primary motivator during the revolution. I wonder whether they will show this, and present it in such a way that we sympathize with the decisions his character makes, or if he will be conflicted, or what. I guess we'll see. Regardless of the morality of some of his actions, he was a brilliant and fascinating man, one who warrants a film of this potential quality. I can't wait to see it.
  • Alex
    I really don't understand all the glamorizing of Che Guevara, who is a known murderer and thug. I don't know anything about this film or how they will portray this man, but i do know about Che Guevara, and I seriously hope they take a realistic approach (i.e. expose him for who he was) but that is probably not going to happen, considering this film is being made by Hollywood. This will probably give the stupid college kids more motivation to wear their Che t-shirts (that bear an image of a man that those dumbasses know nothing about).
  • http://www.thestopbutton.com Andrew Wickliffe
    "Both are premiering at the Cannes Film Festival this month under the name Che as a 268 minute presentation. " That's so damn cool. Wonder if the DVD will be joined...
  • Ryan
    Che Guevara was a murderer and a sociopath. My grandfather met him in a room with his best friend, after the communists had over thrown Batista, he asked if they'd join the communist army and shot my grandfather's best friend in the head when they denied. No questions asked. Thats just the tip of the iceberg. When did you guys decided he was a badass revolutionary? Where did you first hear this? Sure, he did his part to put the communists in power, but he was ruthless, and carried on his ruthlessness after castro had already set his regime in place. He's just as bad if not worse, that Fidel Castro, and I just can't wrap my head around why so many people glamorize him.
  • Mik
    couldn't agree more ryan. he killed anyone (farmers, workers, children, etc) who didn't buy into his revolution. it's really "badass" to killed unarmed civilians. while it shouldn't suprise me that hollywood would glorify him like this it still saddens me that they do.
  • jason
    I second the two posts above; Che murdered hundreds, if not thousands in the name of the 'revolution'. I am no fan of the current Iraq war but we demonize (rightly so) american soldiers who brutalize iraqis but then glamorize someone like Che...go figure
  • chrisg
    I agree with these posts... I'm looking forward to the films but find it ridiculous how he is glorified. I see people around my college campus wearing his t-shirt because they think it's chic or w/e and I want to ask them if they even know who he is and what he was about. My father was born and raised in Cuba and left when Castro took over, and my mothers parents are from Cuba, so seeing people glorify someone who has caused so much pain is an insult. I wouldn't parade around in a Hitler t-shirt. And this is coming from someone who owns The Motorcycle Diaries. I just hope this film doesn't stir anymore Che Love.
  • Ben R
    Having been born in Latin America, I can not deny that the poor and their children are disenfranchised and often marginized. I know that many of those children grow up bitter and with well-developed anti-government fervor. But there are socially responsible ways to bring about change, and then there are the reproachable, inhumane tactics that Che and Fidel routinely practiced to get their way. That idealism that is attributed to Che is tantamount to terrorists hijacking passenger planes to fly them into buildings, hoping to murder thousands of people in the name of their cause. I don't know how this movie portrays Che, but to describe him as a "bad-ass" revolutionary, when he was a ruthless, brutal murderer is insulting to the family of the many people he killed or had killed. Don't get me wrong, it probably would be interesting to see the mindset of such a lunatic, with way too much power, in a country that was not his. Benicio del Toro is great at playing dysfunctional characters, so it would be good to see him add delusional and sadistic as well. I'm sure my attitude is difficult for many people to understand, especially if you only see Che as a guy on a t-shirt. But if you are aware of what he did at La Cabana Fortress, to use only one example, you may not want to wear him on your shirts anymore.
  • http://movieguyreviews4u.blogspot.com Ryan
    Sounds good. I was kind of confused about if they were two seperate films or not. Thanks for clearing it up.
  • Hector
    just if you are interested, here's a pic of how Fidel Castro will look in the movie played by the Mexican actor Demian Bichir http://img.godlike.cl/images/fidel.jpg
  • Dee
    Um why are we supposed to care? Personally I go to the movies for enjoyment not a boring biography lesson.
  • Dee
    LOL! Alex your post about stupid college kids wearing t-shirst with his resemblance while knowing absolutely nothing about him is classic.
  • http://cortescreates.com Cortes
    These pictures look like they're painting Che as the new cowboy figure.. like pancho villas.. hollywood loves to promote latin american historical Figures as rebel gunslingers. which is fine,, it's what North American people want to see.. But i really doubt Che was jumpin off horses or shootin out of cabins with two guns blazing.. it looks like a parody.. i liked motorcycle diaries cause it was trying to put a human spirit behind the Che Logo everyone glamorizes on t-shirts. i hope these new movies don't just create another gunslingin' scarface to make into toys and video games.
  • Gooner_NM
    Although Che was a "murderer and thug," is it any different from the actions of the dynamic duo George Bush and his idiotic son G-Dub. Che Guevara was a revolutionary leader that sparked a difference of opinion, but he was a symbol of strength for many people in Cuba, Latin America, and other parts of this world. Che showed his military prowess by fighting on the frontline of many of his battles, which demonstrated a leader who was willing and able to fight for his cause. Che managed to hurt many people but the United States government and some of it's Presidents have done much more damage. People often forget the humanitarian side of Che Guevara. If you don't believe he had any, there is always Motorcycle Diaries starring Gael Garcia Bernal. Che Guevara continues to influence many people because of the character, strength, and ambition he possessed. He not only has influenced many young college students, but he has influenced the minds of many great leaders in this world such as: Nelson Mandela who once stated this about Che, "He's an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom," and Subcomandante Marcos, who leads the Zapatista revolution in southern Mexico. To say his life is unimportant or not a big deal is wrong. To be honest, I think Benicio, Soderbergh, and the rest of the team will get the film right. Hopefully, both films will show the humanity and ruthlessness he possessed, along with his many other character qualities. If anyone has ever seen pictures of Che Guevara in his military get-up, these pictures are pretty close to the real man.
  • Ryan
    Gooner, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. I'm not sure why G-Dub was brought into this, but what Che did to the Cuban people, and any man who didn't join his revolution was emotionless and brutal. I think your comment about Motorcycle Diaries (no offense), is a perfect example of what I'm worried this movie will do; present a one-sided argument about Che Guevara, playing only on his image as a humanist and a freedom fighter. That movie was maybe less biased, I'm not sure how Che was as a innocent teenager, but what he turned into was a monster. The idea of his revolution overcame any value he placed on human life before. If they make a fair movie that acknowledges his humanitarianism and personal philosophies, as WELL as his brutality and the horror he inflicted on innocent people, then it'll be fine. But what I'm worried about, is that this will be glorification of a man who does not really deserve it. He's deader than dead at this point, but some people's lives are still affected by what he did, family members he's killed, and its them who this glorification will negatively affect. No one's making any movies glorifying the Iraq war.
  • Ryan
    WAIIITA second- maybe thats exactly what Soderbergh's doing. Showing Che before he was corrupt in the Argentine, and after he kind of lost his soul in the Guerilla. Neat.
  • Gooner_NM
    Ryan, Motorcycle Diaries definitely isn't a one-sided film. The film shows his young caring and human soul, but by the end of the film you get a sense of what Ernesto will turn into and how his mind is affected by certain inequalities this world offered (such as his trip to the mines, seeing the high amount of poverty in South America, and how the lepers were treated). It gave me a sense of how he transformed into Che and showed the types of things that prompted him to eventually turn angry. As for George W., many people say Che's actions still affect families and citizens in Cuba. I don't know about you, but I tend to believe that many people in Iraq and the Middle East are innocently being killed by U.S. weapons and families there are losing family members that will affect them for the future. I haven't seen any magazine covers or previews that show any glorification of Che, but check the cover of Entertainment Weekly this week and you'll find the perfect example: http://www.ew.com/ew/inside/issue/0,,ewTax:991,00.html. "No one's making any movies glorifying the Iraq war." No, but they are making movies glorifying the person responsible for it.
  • Maria
    Wow whether you like him or not for personal reason or based on factual historical fact, he is one of the last century's greatest political, revolutionary, and historical figures and minds. And the portrayl of a man who changed history so much and fought against the greatest empire of it's century and who continued his passion and dreams by going international with his mission, is a heavy burden on any filmmaker. Look forward to the portrayl. Big responsiblity on their shoulders. Like I said like him or not, he obviously had an impact on us all that we have an opinon on him either way. Now that's impact!
  • Maria
    Besides if I am correct Che Guevarra is the most recognised Latin American of all time! Now how can anyone not ever be tempted to make a movie about Latin America's most famous historical figure? Every famous historical figure has a movie made about him/her at some time. And this latin america's! Hey will love to see latin america as a backdrop also, not often I get to see it on the big silver screen. Getting the story right, according to someone's personal experience is small minded and ridiculous, it's the world-wide impact this man had that is significantly and historically much more important. Come stop to those 'me me me' beasts, stop being bitter. And yes we have all had relatives murdered, tortured by lefties or right wing dictators. Let's get over the "me me" syndrome, besides some of you whingers are now living in Miami (ie USA)I suspect? , well be grateful and build a bridge and just move on.
  • FriendlyYours
    For more info about The Argentine and Guerrilla, visit: http://www.beniciodeltoro.ca.
  • Luka
    heh, typical of you Americans, he was fighting you among others of course you're gonna see him as a murderer and you yourselves are as clean as whistles... stop gloryfying your damn country for once and respect others, then someone might actually show you some respect in return. besides none of you know what its like living in a communist state cuz none of you never have
  • Laura
    The thing is everytime I see someone with one of those Che shirts my stomach turns . . . I work at a high school and these kids wear it like its some kind cool thing. They say its because he fought the system and that somehow inspires them. Sticking to the man. Sometimes I ask them to google him and read about his life, his "deeds", his "inspiring work" and every once in a while one of them does they come back and say "damn miss, that guy killed alot of people". It's not about republican or democrat . . .american or latin american . . . .hispanic or white. It's about the fact that most films create a fantastical idealized version of these people that did horrible things to HUMANITY. Don't get me wrong, I believe that it is good and healthy to see biopics that depict these peoples lives. I don't believe that a person can be solely evil. People's life experiences lead them to evil things and that is what we should all be asking. What kind of events happened to Hitler, Sadam, Che, Stalin, etc to make them think that by slaughtering and committing these horrible acts they would somehow achieve the change that so desired. That by killing humans they could save humanity. Hollywood needs to take more responsibility for the messages they send through film and Latinos in Hollywood need to think twice about representing some of these historical figures. I hope that the films are balanced and true to who Che was. A violently disturbed man who committed and ordered the deaths of many. A man created by those surrounding him.
  • http://firstshowing.net jahsouljah
    The way that you can look at che in an objective way would be to read his diaries that he always kept with him to record events and times from his perspective....All of you are talking or making statements about a man that arent true..I understand what he stood for and others like him Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata,Hugo Chavez,Ceasar Chavez,Malcolm x,Huey P. Newton,Bob Marley......I could go on but these men all believed in the same principles,just on different continents and coasts fighting the same fight to be respected as men and treated with dignity...
  • niishwa
    I'm betting that everyone trying to cite examples of the Che's brutality pulled it off of an inaccurate website or heard it from a 'real patriot.' Or even worse...read it in a textbook! Time to take charge and stop filling your heads full of crap. Anyone who reads extensively on his life and philosophies will find a true inspiration.
  • cubanazo
    Words from the 'badass' himself: "To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary...These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the The Wall! (El Paredón)" --Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
  • Sol
    people need to wake up. Che Guevara stood firm in his beliefs tackling those who controlled power and consolidated it at the expense of others. Those who do not have the power and status to fight within a corrupt and outrageous system sometimes have to fight outside of it. Just like Malcolm said if you are being shit on by a small elite, you have to take the power back "by any means necessary." Che Guevara fought for the common man. I find it very interesting that all these anti Che comments are coming from Cubans living in America, who probably fled when Castro came to power. I can see how you would be bitter about how how your wealth ad excess was taken away from you. Also, take the time to unlearn the miseducation you have been fed in American text books citing Che as a terrorist, Vietnam as an american victory and saying nothing of our own imperialism and support of real dictators like Mobutu Sese Seko in Congo. Nows thats a murderer...but he was OUR murderer so I guess its ok. Double Standards. At least Che tried to fight injustice. People like Mobutu, Pol Pot, Noreaga we blessed because they "opposed" terrorism. It is more patriotic to seek the real truth, not just regurgitate text book history. And yes, I cant stand people wearing Che t-shirts just because its chic....shit even Gap made a version. But some of us actually do our research, and learn what he's about vetting our information from an international history context.
  • poya
    for every body che guevara was a first man who fought for us {all people on the world} .we will never forget che guevara
  • sasha
    I have read some comments from the haters of Che Guevara. First of all people have the right to comment unfortunately even the ignorant. Most comments seem to be from you that know not enough to form a civilized response. I imagine you are not very attractive and not well liked people. Che Guevara was iconic not only for being a Revolutionary but notice, he was an extremely attractive man unlike the homely people that speak against him. Sorry for you all!! Everyone can not have great genes, get over it!
  • ayash
    I love che .
  • andrew
    I can't believe how ridiculous some people are over Che. He fought in a revolution, so of course he killed lots of people. So did George Washington. The revolutionary mindset is something that a lot of people have a hard time coming to terms with. You are either for or against the revolution- and a revolutionary will act accordingly. If you find that appalling then I think you should understand that there would have been very little political progress in our world without the revolutionary mindset. So anyone who dislikes it so much would logically still want to live in a world of despotism and monarchic rule. Oh, you wouldn't? Oh okay, you are a hypocrite. Now, if you disagree with what Che STOOD FOR, then you should just come out and say it. Also, stop ignoring the fact the the U.S. installed dictator, Batista, treated the people of Cuba just as badly, if not worse- not to mention the reasons why Batista did what he did were much worse. Oh and if you are going to call Che a murderer and a terrorist then I think you should also apply that label to America's founding fathers, anyone who fought in a revolution ever, anyone who fought in a war ever, anyone who presided over a war or a government that has put people to death. And anyone in a democracy that had a government that killed people. Which might make everyone a murderer whether or not they like it.
  • serval
    I would have to agree with andrew. we cannot bad mouth one historical figure without doing so for all of them. All I know is Che and Fidel asissted Amilcar Cabral in freeing Cape Verde and Guine Bissau from Portuguese rule as well as ending facism in Portugal.
  • Anonimo
    But of course Hollywood is going to idealise and romanticize Chancho Guevara or else it wont be profitable, right? There won't be facts and if there is they won't show the horrible things he did. Che was an idealist. People have to work for whatever they want to accomplish and to go as far as they want to. Government can give you things but will take your freedom. Government will take your hope to be better. Nobody will be happy just having enough to get by. Communism and socialism are a theory because for everybody to be equaL EVERYBODY has to be content with what is handed to them. Freedom and rights or else how freedom let a country of only 233+- years old became the greatest country in the world when you see China or Europe that have been there for a few thousand years? It is freedom. I am Cuban and believe me Che and Castro can not say that their ideal worked. Cuba is the experiment and you see it did not work. Communism does not give you but takes your chances and dreams away. You have no hope for your future. To have a Constitution ensures that you are protected.
  • Marco Casucci
    Despite what you say about Che Guevara, you must understand that he is now a "brand" and this brand represents freedom along with the attributes of a leader which obviously was and continued to be known for his claimed cause versus his actions. With that said, today around the world many searching for freedom have come to learn of this brand and have adopted the loyalty for it, only because they believe in the same cause he claimed and as the stories tell, he sacrificed for. Right or wrong, you, yes "You" are not the one to judge... you shouldn't even discourage anyone from wearing Che's t-shirt or not wearing it. It is best if we all take the positive from this story and use it as a lesson of which the brand is standing for, freedom and equality is a right for every soul amongst humanity. And it is not for anyone, whether it is George Bush or his son or even Che, to fully and solely lead such a movement, but it is the right and duty for each of us to ensure our freedom is sovereign. There are 3 kinds of people on earth, leaders, followers, and teachers... Long story short, stand up for what you believe in and don't ever quit half way. If you start the movement or whatever your journey may be, do finish it and be proud, or else take the back seat and do NOT be a back seat driver. But if you do decide on a role, I promise you that you'll make mistakes like Che or others have done, so again, Don't JUDGE! Just do the right thing. Out of the 3 types of people, which one are you and what are you doing about it?
    • Canalesalex96
      Some people never see the big picture.
      • Alex
        Why would a man sacrifice his own life for the rights of a country that's not even his own, care for the wounded and sick, teach how to read and write, and never abandoned his troops, if he was a bloodthirty killer? It just doesn't make any sense I mean come on, the man had asthma and yet he was out there. He could've been in Cuba in the comforts that Fidel was enjoying but instead he was in Bolivia fighting for the impoverished people looking like a bum with a rifle while coughing up his lungs at 39 yrs. old. Why? He felt he could make a difference and you can't knock him for that he even bet his life on it, a costly gamble for what you believe in, but at least he had a belief even though he had no religion!!!!.....think about it.

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